The Washington Post’s brigade of shamelessly ideological or just plain incompetent columnists has been out in force of late, placing me in a dilemma: if I write full posts calling all of them on their deceitful and irresponsible essays, I make Ethics Alarms look like Newsbusters, and if I don’t, only the angry, equally ideological columnists on “conservative media sites” will, and what they say doesn’t matter, because they’re all mean, lying “wingnuts,” don’t you know. So I’m going to let it pass that Kathleen Parker wrote yet another of her wishy-washy, hand-wringing protests against the fact that ethical decision-making requires policy makers to make tough choices, her craven proclamation that while it is true that some criminals deserve to die, she isn’t willing to accept her part in society’s obligation to see that they get what they deserve. I will note that either she or the Post scrubbed the online version of a sentence in the print version that actually said that explicitly, but never mind. Parker is still clear in her high-minded cowardice.
And I will restrain myself from awarding the Baghdad Bob Award to Eugene Robinson, who increasingly makes me wonder how much of a role affirmative action played in his Pulitzer Prize. He submitted a certifiably batty column proclaiming that the Obama administration has been a wonder to behold, that the economy is “fixed”, that the latest jobs and economic numbers were glorious, that Obamacare is an unequivocal success, and that the Democrats should declare that all is well, because it is. Meanwhile, just about every fact-based story in his own, relentlessly liberal newspaper rebutted his words. Robinson’s an opinion columnist: a point of view is necessary. Misleading readers ( “Critics have stopped talking about a hypothetical “death spiral” in which the health insurance reforms collapse of their own weight, since it is now clear that nothing of the sort will happen,” he wrote. I was able to find several such predictions from credible analysts written within the last two weeks, and I didn’t spend much time looking. Here’s one of them…) and partisan cheerleading, however, is unethical and unprofessional. The Pulitzer just isn’t what it used to be, I guess. Sort of like the Nobel Peace Prize.
I am going to take on Dana Milbank’s description of the Benghazi scandal as a “nothingberger”—Shouldn’t referring to a coordinated, news-media-assisted cover-up of intentional public deception by a President in the midst of a Presidential campaign as “nothing” (never mind that the incident at the heart of the deception involved the deaths of four Americans, including an ambassador) disqualify a columnist from regular publication by a respectable news source?—-but not today.
No, today the winner is Ruth Marcus, a member of the Post’s editorial staff whose column this week spun the new Monica Lewinsky Vanity Fair piece as a boon to Hillary Clinton:
“The Lewinsky affair never really came up in 2008; the subject was too raw and too fraught, and Clinton did not make it to the ugliness of a general election campaign. It’s clear, though, that the subject will not be taboo in 2016. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has already raised the question of whether Democrats in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular, should consort with a “sexual predator” like Bill Clinton. Lewinsky’s account makes clear that her affair with the president was between two consenting adults. “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship,” she writes. “Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.” So her piece defuses Paul’s line of attack. And it does so before any Clinton presidential announcement.”
Welcome to the Democratic War on Women, with hypocritical female Democrats like Marcus leading the charge. This bogus and intellectually dishonest “consenting adults” rationalization is a Golden Oldies from 1998, along with “Everybody lies about sex,” “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin” and “Yeah, well, Warren G. Harding cheated on his wife in the White House too!” Marcus styles herself a feminist, a group that I largely lost respect for in 1998 when I watched them junk their own assertions about what considered “consent” to workplace sex when the coupling involves vast inequality of power, far less than was at play in Monicagate, because, well, they liked this workplace predator and didn’t like his opposition, so suddenly, Monica became the predator. Like those 1998 feminist turncoats (among them Gloria Steinem and Maureen Dowd) Marcus is eager to accept the victim’s self-serving description of herself as “consenting” when all workplace ethics, sexual harassment law and common sense tells us that true consent in such situations is impossible.
Legally, as far as the criminal law is concerned, sure, the sex was consensual. Nobody has ever claimed that Lewinski was raped, or that Clinton told her to get down on her knees or else. But he was President of the United States of America, and she the lowest subordinate imaginable, even before her knees hit the floor. He had complete power over her, and by using his office and power, had control over her conduct. This is why such relationships are always, always, exploitive and wrong, and virtually always justify firing an executive for cause in organizations large and small.
Moreover, Clinton was an expert practitioner of this exact form of power abuse, as many other women have testified. Lewinsky’s face-saving characterization now “defuses Paul’s line of attack”? So Bill Clinton wasn’t (isn’t?) a sexual predator? Of course he’s a predator. Nothing has been more obvious. What is amazing is that though he preys on vulnerable women, so many “feminists” like Marcus—and Hillary, of course—refuse to hold him accountable for it. It’s hypocrisy, but it’s a little bit insane too. I’ll never forget listening to an otherwise intelligent, accomplished, rational female lawyer, in the middle of the impeachment battle, respond to my argument regarding Clinton’s ethics by simply gushing, like one of the high school girls in “Bye Bye Birdie,” “I just think he’s wonderful!” I just stared at her. Don’t get me wrong: I’m envious of men who can enchant women like that. But don’t tell me it’s rational.
You know who else swears that he consented to an unequal sexual relationship? Vili Fualaau, the 12-year-old boy raped by his teacher (now wife) Mary Kay LeTourneau. Ask Dakota Fanning, now 20, if she consented to having a virtually naked adult make actor simulate rape on top of her when she was 12, in the filming of “Hounddog.” She’ll say she consented, just as her mother claimed her juvenile daughter consented at the time. Victims of power abuse will often claim they were full participants in their own abuse; that’s what makes them such convenient victims.
Public commentators like Ruth Marcus, meanwhile, make the deplorable hobby of predators like Bill Clinton and the complicity of their enablers, like Hillary Clinton, so much easier and risk-free.
Source: Washington Post